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Chapter 14 - Psychological Disorders.docx

Course Code
PSY 1102
Najwa Haddad

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Chapter 14 Psychological Disorders
I. Perspective on Psychological Disorders
A. Introduction
Abnormal Psychology: psychologists scientifically study mental illness, the
symptoms, causes, progress, treatment and the prevention
Prevalence: based on a survey, psychological orders and more prevalent then what
people think
Survey questions:
o Based in the past month have you experience a psychological disorder:
26% yes
o Have you experienced a mental illness within your lifetime: ?
Help? Over 60% of people with mental illness do not seek help, and those who do
often do not receive adequate help
Reasons people don’t get help:
o Low income, no money
o No access, they live in a rural area
o They do not understand and recognize the illness
o The stigma that comes with it, they don’t want to seem crazy
Caution: when we cover this chapter, psychology students start believing they have
all these disorders
B. Defining Psychological Disorders
Statistical infrequency: you look at the population of interest and you see how
prevalent this behaviour is
Deviant: it has to deviate from the standards and the norms of society
Distressing: when it is personally distressing it is likely to be considered a
Dysfunctional: harmful to oneself and others, disruptive, interferes with the
person’s ability to lead a normal life
C. Understanding Psychological Disorders
The why?
They determine how we are going to handle and treat the people with
psychological disorders
3 perspectives:
o The Demonic Model
Was the dominant model throughout history

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People who have psychological disorders are people possessed
by demons (the devil) or God is punishing them
o Medical Perspective:
Renaissance: they thought maybe it wasn’t demons, but maybe
it was physical, in spite of this they still did things like cutting
them to bleed the illness out or throwing them in a snake put
Pinel: was apalude by the situation, thought they needed to
treat people with mental illness like humans instead of chaining
them in a basement, people got better and went home
Syphilis: they thought the body was sick and it caused mental
illness, when researchers studied syphilis this backed them up
Today: We look at the SYMPTOMS then we DIAGNOSE then
we offer THERAPY and hope for a CURE
o Bio-Psycho-Social Perspective
Medical model is based on physiology / biology only
Researchers started looking at nature and nurture
- Genetics
- Physiological
- Psychological
- Social and cultural
Anorexia: only found in cultures where being
thin is considered being healthy, beautiful and
Koro: an anxiety disorders only found in
southeast asia (men have this believe that there
penis is going to retract into their abdomen and
kill them
D. Classifying Disorders
DSM-IV-TR: the reference for psychologists, therapists, medical doctors
Lists all the psychological disorders that have been identified today
Lists all the symptoms to the disorders
Lists all the criteria that must be met for a person to be diagnosed
TR is for text revision (every fear years the revise the book based
on new scientific research to add or take away from the book)
Written by over 1000 psychologists combined, over 60
organizations participated including the world health organization
o Relies too heavily on the medical model
o It does not give enough credit to cultural variables

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o It is too bloated, ithas to many categories and psychological
disorders that 33% of the population will qualify for a
E. Labelling Psychological Disorders
Labelling people and saying “Reem is schizophrenic”
o Biasing powers: once we label a person as mentally ill we start
perceiving them through that filter, everything they do or say
we see them as ill, even if what they are doing is normal
Rosenham, David (1973): him and his assistants, they
went to different hospitals and told they were hearing
voices saying 3 words, 7 were labelled schizophrenic, 1
was labelled bipolar, once they were admitted they
didn’t say anything about the voices and they acted
completely normal, yet everything they did was
analyzed and people thought they were crazy
o Self-fulfilling prophecies:
When we label a person, that person may end up
behaving in-line with the label
You live next door to a mentally ill person, you see him
coming down the hall you go the other way, he gets in
the elevator with you, you get out, he will get fed up
and yell at you, you will say “See! You are crazy!”
o Benefits of diagnostic labels: facilitate communication between
mental health workers, people become more understanding and
accepting when they understand and know why someone
behaves differently
Myth busting:
Bizarre: the majority do not look or behave bizarrely even though they
have a mental illness
Personal weakness: mental illness is not personal weakness
Often dangerous: not true, 9/10 mentally ill people are not dangerous
Never fully recover: majority of people with mental illness will
No work / low paying jobs: mental illness does not affect people based
on income or job
II. Anxiety Disorders
A. Introduction
It is normal
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